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More about behaviour 

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  • Julie de Vaan

Stimulating waste separation and recycling with Coca-Cola

The only way Coca-Cola can accomplish its goals and targets on recycling, is when people hand in their empty packaging the right way. Thats why, since 2018, we help Coca-Cola to stimulate people to separate and recycle their waste.

These are the ways in which we support and advice Coca-Cola:


Providing insight into the buttons that determine whether people recycle

Before we can change behaviour, it's important to know how this behaviour is formed, en which 'buttons' are important. To gain insight into this, we developed a Behavioural Map for waste separation and recycling behaviour, specifically targeted at returning empty plastic bottles.

The Behavioural Map shows why people return their waste right or wrong, and which buttons to push to stimulate them to hand it in the right way. Based on this Behavioural Map, we can push the right buttons to effectively stimulate waste separation and recycling in all kinds of different situations.

Gedrag veranderen: afvalscheiding en recycling (Changing Ways x Coca-Cola)


Developing effective interventions for waste separation

Based on the Behavioural Map on recycling behaviour, we can give advice on how to effectively stimulate this in specific situations. We convert this advice into effective outlets and interventions to stimulate waste separation. For example:

Change behaviour: bin for waste separation and recycling (Changing Ways x Coca-Cola)
  • Stickers for waste bins, which ensure that they are recognizable, clear to see and to understand, and convenient to find and to use.

Change behaviour: outlets around bins for recycling (Changing Ways x Coca-Cola)

  • Additional outlets around these bins, to increase recognizability, convenience and how easy they are to find.

Change behaviour: outlets for waste separation and recycling (Changing Ways x Coca-Cola)
  • Specific advice and outlets for different clients of Coca-Cola, including Radboud University, the Efteling, movie theaters and multiple festivals.


Optimizing campagnes to stimulate people to recycle

Using the Behavioural Map, we give advice and guidelines on pushing the right buttons for recycling with the summer campagne of 2019. For example, with the striking slogan 'Don't buy Coca-Cola if you don't help us recycle', Coca-Cola pushes a number of important buttons. The effect measurement of this campagne shows that it makes people:

  • Feel like recycling is the norm

  • Feel responsible for their own recycling behaviour

  • Aware of what is expected from them with regard to recycling

  • Have a more positive attitude towards Coca-Cola, either in general and specifically with regard to sustainability

After the 2019 summer campagne, the Behavioural Map is also used to develop new campagnes, such as the campagne stating an empty bottle is also valuable.

Change behaviour: campagne recycling (Changing Ways x Coca-Cola)


Sharing knowledge and insights about behaviour to increase impact

To increase the impact of the actions, progress and behavioural insights on responsible food choices, we are happy to share them with others, both internally and externally. For example during OPEN Live 2021, or a panel discussion on 100% rPET in Belgium.



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